Thursday, February 26, 2009

i forgot . . .

to add the bells of Cuyutl√°n to the frequently heard sounds of this village. There are two churches in this tiny village, one in town and one out in the colonia. The sounds from the colonia church, more a mission than a full-fledged parish, are faint and sporatic. The bells in the templo in town ring daily, now that we're into Lent, chiming odd numbers~ sometimes 20 peals, sometimes 22 peals, sometimes 5 followed by 10 followed by three or four. I have no idea what the different numbers mean or why the bells ring at certain times. They are a call to prayer or service but I don't know what they mean; sort of an ecclesiastical Morse code. It must be a Catholic thing. But they ring every Saturday as a reminder to come to Confession, and on Sunday several times, beginning at 6 AM, as a call to early Mass. If there is a death in the village there are mournful pealings that go on for many minutes. This can happen at any time of the day or night. When the padre hears of the death, the bells ring, slow, sad, mournful tolls. On the other hand, the bells also announce joyous occasions such as the celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe (5 AM, 11 AM, 5 PM, 10 PM daily for 10 days), weddings, quincineros celebrations, Christmas morning heralds, Easter morning rejoicings. I would not go so far as to say the village lives by the church bells, but one could argue that it's close! In the old days the salt workers were awakened by the bells at 4 AM. Now they have alarm clocks.

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